The End of an Era

I had scarcely finished my Necrology 2007 post when the list of deceased notables offered therein was rendered obsolete by the death of C. F. D. Moule. I regret not having had the chance to acknowledge his passing before today, though I have been aware of it since Monday. I have now updated my earlier post to include the late great Dr. Moule, and have linked to Dan Wallace‘s obituary post there. I chose that because Wallace (as does Max Turner in the comments) offers a wonderful, warm picture of the man; links to other obituaries may be found there, too. (See also Robert Bradshaw’s obituary post here, which includes an interesting letter that Moule sent him last year, as well as links to a couple of articles by Moule that he hosts in his wonderful site.)

Wallace says that Moule’s death marks the passing of the last of the gentlemen-scholars, and I am inclined to agree. To my mind, C. F. D. Moule, Bruce Metzger, Jaroslav Pelikan and Esteban Tollinchi embodied the immense erudition and splendid virtues that would earn someone the distinction of being called “a gentleman and a scholar.” Tollinchi died on December 4, 2005 (aged 93); Pelikan on May 13, 2006 (aged 82); Metzger on February 13, 2007 (aged 93); and Moule, as we have learned, just a few days ago (aged 98). I studied with none of them, but have read, with something approaching reverential fear, every book of theirs that I’ve ever encountered. And in a world after their passing, it is hard to not feel orphaned.

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